The Healthy Home: Improving Indoor Air Quality
March 30, 2022
We’ve all had moments where we catch a beam of sunlight streaming through the window, only to find ourselves concerned about what’s revealed. From dust to dander, the many particles in the air can make us question our cleaning skills.
The Health Effects of Your Indoor Environment
As we know, poor air quality can cause an allergic response in some people, irritating the eyes, causing running noses, scratchy throats, fatigue, and sleepiness. However, poor air quality can also have more serious consequences such as shortness of breath or can aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions. Breathing air pollution for long periods can even affect the heart and cardiovascular system.
Removing Asthma Triggers and Organic Compounds
If your air exchange rate is low, it means that your home isn’t getting enough outdoor air coming through to push out the internal air. If the outdoor ventilation rate stays low, the stagnant air will continue to build with everything from microscopic bacteria to visible pet hair to volatile organic compounds.
The latter, typically associated with substances like interior paint, can damage the liver and kidneys in the worst-case scenario. Poor ventilation is often the primary cause for that stuffy feeling that’s relatively easy to become accustomed to.
If you’re interested in improving indoor air quality, we’ll look at why it’s so important and some tips to get you started.
Poor Indoor Air Quality – A Silent Threat
It’s not uncommon to come back home after a day or two away and notice that your home smells musty or stale. Yet most indoor air quality issues can pose a danger before they begin leaving their scent behind. For instance, mold spores might be dangerous, but they start off so small and spaced apart that they don’t always make their presence known.
It’s all too easy to ignore your indoor air quality in this case. If you’re experiencing allergy symptoms, such as coughing or fatigue, it can be easy to attribute the issue to anything from a common cold to a normal bout of stress.
The Best Way to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Healthy indoor environments are those that are both cleaned and aired out regularly. Some people might assume that they can rely on their air conditioning to improve the quality of their indoor air, but it can’t do the same service for your home as increasing the sources of indoor air. Even the best ventilation systems can’t replace the purifying benefits of outdoor air.
Remove Indoor Air Pollution with Operable Glass Walls and Windows
Panda Windows & Doors has built our business by creating better environments for our customers. We begin each custom design with this in mind – and that all starts with what you breathe in.
If you’re constantly keeping your doors and windows closed, this will circulate (and recirculate) everything from dust mites to mold spores. Not only can these make respiratory problems worse, but they will aggravate any indoor allergies you may have.
Air Inside vs. Air Outside
Some homeowners might rely on air filters during the winter months to reduce air pollution, but these can only go so far. In other words, your asthma triggers are unlikely to disappear if this is your only solution. If you want to really improve your air quality, you need to bring fresh air in and move stale air out.
Nature might have its disadvantages, but when it comes to air quality, there are plenty of perks. The atmosphere can filter all kinds of particles in the great wide open, allowing the sun to disinfect and the rain to wash everything clean. While this is an oversimplification (one made even more complicated by air pollution or pollen), you’re usually better off increasing the airflow for better breathing.
Increasing Your Sources of Indoor Air
The more inlets you have for the air you breathe, the more you can cut down on your indoor air pollution. Our mission is to remind you that opening your doors and windows — even during extreme temperatures — can do you a world of good. As long as there are no wildfires or smog alerts in your area, cleansing your house begins with airing it out.
Cleaning Tips to Improve Air Quality
The baseboards in the den, the corners of the closet, the tops of the ceiling fans: these are places where dust accumulates that we’re likely to miss during our normal routines. When you vacuum or dust, make sure you’re rooting out the build-up in the most-ignored parts of your space. The best indoor environments are the ones that catch all the crevices where crumbs and dust love to hide.
These overlooked spots might not be in your line of sight, but all that build-up isn’t good for the overall quality of the air. Ideally, whatever isn’t coming off on the rag, sponge, or paper towel can be moved out by just opening up your doors or windows.
Going a Step Further
In addition to regular airing out and cleaning, you can also try using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner or buying dust mite-proof pillow coverings to cut down on particles even more. Checking and changing your filters regularly, especially if you have pets, is a must too.
Finally, cut down on clutter. The things in your home inevitably become a trap for the worst dust in the air. Too many objects clustered together will give the illusion that it’s clean when it’s anything but.
Here are a few other sources that might be sullying your indoor air quality:
- Indoor plants: Believe it or not, poorly maintained or overwatered indoor plants can cause more harm than good if you have allergies. Take care to keep your plants healthy or the odds of mold growth will be high.
- Bleach: Harsh cleaners will eventually turn into fumes, which can permeate the air and make it difficult to breathe.
- Scented candles: Many people love the homey feeling of their apple-cinnamon candle on the windowsill, but doing so often releases dangerous chemicals. Take care to source non-toxic, naturally scented candles, or better yet – bake a real pie instead.
Panda Windows & Doors
Improving your indoor air quality and indoor environments can start with rethinking your space. For example, an operable bi-fold door will stack each panel against one another. This can be done on the left, right, or either side of the door frame, and when fully open, provides a 90% view of your outdoor space.
Panda Windows & Doors also blends European hardware, Delrin polymer rollers, and 6063-T6 aluminum extrusions to create lightweight yet durable doors that are designed for everyday use. So if you want to keep the doors open for a few minutes at a time every day for better air circulation, these doors can handle the repetition.
You might also consider the TS.XO Multi-Slide door, an award-winning system with profiles less an inch across. If you want to create the illusion of floor-to-ceiling glass panels, these doors can be recessed to maximize any clear, open space. Rather than just flinging open a few windows every time you clean, TS.XO doors provide unfettered access to the outdoor world, inviting fresh air in and allowing all the dust from your home to exit stage left.
There’s no substitution for regular cleaning, but there’s a reason why some homes are simply more refreshingly open than others. If you’re interested in learning more, contact us to request a quote or find a dealer today.
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